Royal Institution of Great Britain, an institution in London for advancement of scientific research. Lectures open to the public, to encourage wider understanding of science, are an important part of its activity. The institution was founded in 1799 at the suggestion of Benjamin Thompson, the American who became Count Rumford. Its purpose was to encourage research that would result in useful inventions and application of science for the improvement of everyday living. Among the famous scientists connected with the institution have been Sir Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday, and Thomas Henry Huxley.
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